Good morning all, a quick Saturday round-up for you.
As usual Arsene Wenger spoke to the media ahead of Sunday’s game against Reading. He dealt with Cesc’s new contract and said:
I feel there is a lot more to come from him in the next three years especially because he is only 19-years-of-age you know.
We know! Obviously there are benefits to having him on such a long term deal, the least of which is that it puts the club in a very strong position when the Spanish clubs come sniffing around him. This line made me rub my eyes a bit though when the boss said:
Although 2014 looks a long time when you think about it at the end of his contract Cesc will be just 27.
Jesus. In 2014 I’m going to be a hundred and six and Cesc will be in his prime. I’d like to be nineteen again.
With us facing former Arsenal players Steve Sidwell and James Harper the boss again addresses the issue of English players saying the academy, at Arsenal at least, was just about catching up to those across Europe. He also spoke about how proud he was to have played a part in the education of the two Reading players – you watch a video of that here (Real player reqd).
After mentioning Lauren as a ‘forgotten man’ it’s obvious Arsene reads the blog because he gave us an update on his situation yesterday. The club has never really gone into detail about the knee injury he suffered but it must have been as bad as any injury anyone has ever suffered (apart from the man who got run over buy a train then trampled by elephants then set on fire then throw into a bath of acid then chopped into tiny pieces while being kept alive by a strange alien single cell organism). The boss said:
I donâ€™t think you will see Lauren in the team before January. He played up to the limit of his pain and then maybe he played a little too long. That created some damage in his knee which had to be repaired but he is a tough, tough boy.
Excellent. I’m looking forward to seeing him back.
Thierry Henry talks to the Sun about how he was made clean footballs, manage luggage and carry out the goalposts to the training ground at Monaco – and this was after he’d been a World Cup winner. As he says it’s a far cry from how today’s young professionals are treated. I think the saddest thing about the removal of terracing from football grounds was the fact you couldn’t make the trainees run up and down them before giving them a sweeping brush and telling them to get them clean.
You look at Theo Walcott and you know the way he’ll be educated by Arsenal will be great for him but there have been more than a couple of young players who could have done with reminding they weren’t as great as they thought they were. Some menial labour would have done them the world of good.
Michel Platini wants to reduce the number of English teams in the Champions League to three. Not a particularly big story on the face of it but the fact that he seems set to take over at UEFA is worrying. His ideas about football scare me. Remember, he is the man who thought a biennial World Cup would be a good idea and if you think a lot of the physicality has gone out of the game already that’ll be nothing compared to what will happen if that curly fucker gets his way.
And that’s about it. Thank you all for your comments and feedback on yesterday’s first arsecast. If you haven’t already had a listen you really should, not least because you can win a classic Arsenal shirt from www.classicfootballshirts.co.uk. There’ll be another one next Friday so please feel free to email questions to arsecast@[removethis]arseblog.com
Right, till tomorrow.